Local fave folk singer The White Buffalo returns to Bend this weekend for a two-night stand at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom. I spoke with the Buffalo — aka Jake Smith — about his early, frustrating days as a musician in San Francisco.
“Nothing was really happening for me,” (Smith said). “I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to get gigs. I didn’t know how to even think about making a CD.
“I would write songs and … I wanted to play music, but I was not very confident as a performer and I played like once a year,” he continued. “I’d call people on the phone, and they wouldn’t ever call me back.”
Undaunted, Smith took a more primitive approach to booking shows.
“I started playing songs into the phone, and then I would get calls back and I would start getting gigs,” he said. “I would try to rock like 30 seconds of something, and then I’d say, ‘This is The White Buffalo. Call me back.’ And I’d leave my phone number.”
“That actually worked every time I did it,” Smith said. “That was my press kit.”
You should click here to read all about a guy who plays to sell-out crowds pretty much every time he comes to town.
(Video of Marty Stuart & the Fabulous Superlatives at the Tower Theatre by YouTube user tdworak.)
For my Feedback column this week, I wrote about last week’s outstanding show at the Tower Theatre by country traditionalist Marty Stuart and his band. Spoiler alert: I thought it was the first great local show of 2011.
Honestly, my jaw was on the floor throughout most of the night. From the minute the quartet walked on stage — Stuart in a black suit (embroidered with flowers) and a turquoise scarf, his band mates in glittery, head-to-toe turquoise suits and all-white boots — this was a show so tight, so smooth, so perfect, it was like watching a video of a band that had been rehearsed and re-shot and edited until all mistakes were eliminated. Except this was live, right in front of my eyes.
Not a note out of place. Not a hair out of place. Devastatingly gorgeous harmonies swooping through the air. White-hot guitar playing as far as the eye could see. Big smiles, charming winks, witty banter. And a selection of wonderful songs, perfectly paced.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Moira Smiley & VOCO wrap up the Sisters Folk Festival’s Winter Concert Series, the popular 80s Video Dance Attack returns to the Domino Room, a big rap show on Sunday night will serve as local MC Jay Tablet’s CD-release party, local musicians get together in Sisters to raise money for Jim Bull, and a couple of University of Oregon a cappella groups visit Bend High School. Plus, ska/reggae dudes The Supervillains play The Summit and California power-poppers Bright Faces are at JC’s Bar & Grill.
Plenty to do out there, folks! What are you gonna go see?
Last week, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives put on the first truly great local show of 2011. See me back that statement up in my Feedback column in Friday’s GO! Magazine. In the meantime, here are several excellent photos of the show from The Bulletin’s Ryan Brennecke.
Country traditionalist Marty Stuart visits the Tower Theatre in Bend tomorrow night, exactly four days after he picked up the fifth Grammy award of his career. This time, Stuart won for “Best Country Instrumental Performance” in recognition of “Hummingbyrd,” a song from his lauded 2010 album “Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions.”
Here’s Stuart and his band playing “Hummingbyrd” on his show on RFD TV.
By now, you’d think most artists would’ve learned this lesson: Finding and sticking to your strengths no matter the direction of the trend-winds is always a better look than switching up your look/sound/style in an effort to stay relevant. Marty Stuart certainly knows this. He sang gospel as a kid, picked bluegrass with Lester Flatt in the ’70s, spent time in Johnny Cash’s band in the ’80s, scored a few country hits along the way, and has blossomed into one of the most acclaimed and appreciated ambassadors of traditional twang in modern times.
Marty Stuart’s showy duds and shapely hair may not qualify him as “cool” among your buddies, or on the Internet, or in what’s sold as country music these days. But believe this: Marty Stuart is one cool cat. I can’t wait to see him play.
Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives; 7:30 p.m. Thursday; $30 or $35, available at www.towertheatre.org, 541-317-0700, or the box office at the Tower Theatre, 835 N.W. Wall St., Bend.
The middle three days of next week will be abnormally busy and diverse as reggae artist Ky-Mani Marley, Portland folk band Y La Bamba and country traditionalist Marty Stuart play in Bend. Click here to read about all three of them.
I also want to highlight an opportunity to hear some African music with the Dusu Mali Band visiting Silver Moon. Beyond that, we’ve got Tuck and Roll, No Cash Value and Antique Scream at Players, StillFear and Tentareign at Grover’s, a busy week at The Marilyn, the Two/Thirds Trio playing a couple of jazz shows, and Todd Haaby playing a benefit show for a Summit High School band. Click here to see the whole music section.